Portman Seeks ‘Fuller Explanation’ of Comey Firing

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Rob Portman weighed in this morning on President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey yesterday, calling for a “fuller explanation” by the president.

However, the Ohio Republican stopped short of calling for an independent inquiry into Russia’s actions during the 2016 presidential election.

The Trump administration said the firing stemmed from Comey’s actions related to the FBI’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.

“Given the timing and circumstances of the decision, I believe the White House should provide a fuller explanation regarding the president’s rationale,” Portman said in a statement emailed shortly after 10:30 a.m.

Ohio Democrats U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan were among senators and congressmen who issued statements earlier in response to the firing yesterday.

“The American people must have faith in a strong, independent FBI,” Portman said. “I’m concerned about eroding trust in this premier law enforcement agency.” He called for whoever is nominated to succeed Comey to be “a highly qualified and respected leader who will provide a fresh start for the bureau.”

Portman also thanked Comey for his service to the nation.

“Regardless of his handling of the Clinton email matter during the presidential election last year — for which both parties had questions and concerns — he has always done what he believed was in the best interest of the country,” he stated.

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